One of the five people that read this thing is bored at work and suggests I write something today. Not a bad idea as I need a couple of minutes break from work, both the paid one and the poetry one.

Stepped in dog shit this morning! Stepping in puddles and dragging my foot through dirt only served to cake it all in the tread of my shoes so I ended up having to wash the damn thing in the bathroom sink at work, hoping no one would walk in and wonder what the hell I was doing. Can’t believe I didn’t stink up the train. Or maybe I did and couldn’t tell?

The train ride to and from work has become a lot more pleasant with my new GameBoy Advance SP and Pokemon Ruby! Pokemon rules. People think it’s just a kid’s game but, while there is a certain simplicity to it, it’s fun as hell and completely engrossing. The strategy involved in selecting the right combination of Pokemon, leveraging strengths and weaknesses while balancing my preference for certain types over others. Haven’t settled on a new favorite yet, though I like the Treecko I started out with. I prefer attacks with status effects, like poison and confusion but those Pokemon often have the most glaring weaknesses leaving them vulnerable to the one-shot KO.

Okay, so now you know officially. I’m a dork!

Got an email the other day from a woman who claims to work for Norman Lear (the 80’s sitcom king) who is suppposedly looking to create some sort of national poetry show. She’s in town for a couple of days and wanted to meet me; said my name kept popping up the more she looked into slam. Gonna meet with her tomorrow before Urbana and then stick around for the show. Should be interesting.

Speaking of shows, our anniversary show is coming together slowly but surely. Was on the fence for awhile about what we’d do for the night as the CD recording on January 13th was so off-the-hook as to not be duplicable. [Is that a word?] One idea was to invite some left-field special guests types and pair them up with some comparable up-and-comers. I’ve never been big on caring about booking “big-name” features but I put it out there to see what kind of response we’d get, at the same time, working on a plan B. Some good things came from the attempt, most notably the possibility that Maria Mazziotti Gillan will be featuring for us in July! She’s the editor of my favorite anthology, UNSETTLING AMERICA, as well as being a gifted poet herself, so that’ll be a treat. Plan B is what’s going to happen, though, as I’m working on relaunching our louderJAM format in collaboration with Westside Rhyme. Details still need to be discussed around how we’ll work together but, at a minimum, once a month at 13 we’re gonna have a kick-ass show along the lines of what Shawn & Karen lay down on Sundays. Lisa Jackson is confirmed to swing through which should be a treat. The first time I saw Lisa was at Westside Rhyme a few weeks ago and she blew me away. Karen’s got a gig in Brooklyn that night so she might not be able to play, or maybe she’ll kick things off and then break out. We’ll see.

re: American Idol. After a pathetic performance last night, can I hope that Josh [dis]Gracin gets voted off tonight? I can’t stand that guy and I’m glad to see there’s finally some backlash about him being on the show while 60% of his unit has been deployed to Iraq. Some Marine spokesperson had the nerve to say that it was good publicity for the Corps to have him on the show and that he was pursuing his dream. Like there’s not a ton of kids fighting in Iraq who’ve had to defer their dreams? That’s some bullshit. I hope when he does ship out he gets treated to an old-fashioned blanket party.

On a final note, my Mets got their asses waxed on Monday. Had an opportunity to go to the game but, only being on this job a month, figured it wasn’t time to go playing hooky. Much as I would’ve like to have been there, between the brutal weather and the butt-kicking, I don’t feel TOO bad about it.

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